Raiders favored on road against Dolphins on Sunday Night Football

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When neither team instills confidence it’s probably best to go with the more desperate team and the healthier quarterback – and the Oakland Raiders edge the Miami Dolphins on both counts.

The Raiders and QB Derek Carr are listed as three-point road favorites against the Dolphins with a 44-point total for the NFL Week 9 Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

It is Oakland’s second consecutive game in the Eastern Time Zone, which should reduce how much sway its 4-20 straight-up record in its last 24 games in the East has over the proceedings. The same might be said of the Dolphins’ 11-0 SU mark in their last 11 home games against West Coast squads.

Oakland does have a 7-2 record against the spread across its last nine road games, but Miami counters that with a 6-1-1 ATS record over its last eight home games in November,

Oakland, 3-5 both SU and ATS, is ranked just 20th offensively in the 32-team NFL even though Carr is complemented by big names in both the passing and rushing phases. But Miami has allowed the second-highest opponents’ passer rating in the league and the trio of WR Michael Crabtree, WR Amari Cooper and TE Jared Cook might be able to exploit CB Xavien Howard and SS Reshad Jones.

There is a troublesome line matchup since Dolphins DE Cameron Wake usually lines up to the right of the quarterback, where Raiders RT Marshall Newhouse has been having a rough time of late.

The Raiders have RB Marshawn Lynch back from suspension, but it will be up their line to open holes against a quietly good Dolphins run defense.

The Dolphins, who are 4-3 SU and 3-3-1 ATS and just jettisoned RB Jay Ajayi in a trade-deadline deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, come into the game with QB Jay Cutler (ribs) banged up and trying to revive the NFL’s worst offense (by more than 27 yards per game than the 31st-ranked offense, no less).

Miami’s pass protection, which has been so-so, will have to shut down Raiders OLB Khalil Mack. And Mack is one of the NFL’s best edge defenders against the run, which could limit Miami’s ability to get new starting RB Kenyan Drake going.

One point in favor of the Dolphins offense – which, of course, scored zero points in a 40-0 loss against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8 when Matt Moore replaced Cutler – is Oakland has been brutal at playing the pass. The Raiders are the lone NFL team with zero interceptions and allow 8.0 yards per throw, and their coverage might be further compromised with cornerbacks David Amerson (foot) and Gareon Conley (shin) out of action.

Whether it becomes a favorable matchup for Cutler and the likes of favorite WR DeVante Parker depends on the pass  protection.

The total has gone under in six of the Raiders’ last eight games on the road, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The total has gone under in six of the Dolphins’ last eight games.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Eagles, Wentz Big Favorites Against Depleted Cowboys on Sunday Night

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Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles go into a road team-dominated rivalry game on Sunday night against a Dallas Cowboys opponent that struggles as a home underdog

The Eagles are listed as 4.5-point road favorites against the Cowboys with a 48-point total for the Week 11 Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The visiting team is 6-2 straight-up in its last eight games in this NFC East matchup and 8-3 against the spread in the last 11. Dallas, which will not have key performers such as RB Ezekiel Elliott (suspension), LT Tryon Smith (groin, back) and LB Sean Lee (hamstring), is also an inauspicious 2-8 SU and 4-4-2 ATS in its last 10 games as the underdog at AT&T Stadium.

The first priority for the Eagles, who are 8-1 SU and 7-2 ATS, will be making sure RT Lane Johnson can contain DE Demarcus Lawrence, who already has 11.5 sacks. That’s easier said than done, but the Eagles have myriad rushing and short-passing threats they can use to slow up the Cowboys’ pass rush. Lee often shadows tight ends and running backs. If Philly’s leading receiver, TE Zach Ertz (hamstring, probable) is good to go, then the Eagles should have a well-balanced passing game.

The Cowboys give up a below-average 4.3 yards per rush and DT Maliek Collins (foot) could be missing from the interior of the front seven. Every bit of extra yardage the likes of Jay Ajayi grinds out will help Philadelphia, which is 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in its last six games as a favorite of 5.0 or fewer points, avoid the obvious passing downs where Lawrence can tee off with a speed rush.

The Cowboys, who are 5-4 both SU and ATS, will need their second-year QB Dak Prescott to carry the load with his passing. Leading receiver Dez Bryant (ankle) will likely tough it out, but Philadelphia permits only 6.6 yards per pass (ninth in the NFL) and the pass coverage should get shored up by the return of CB Ronald Darby (ankle), who has been out for a month.

With no Elliott to hit the holes or Smith to open them, it’s hard to see how Dallas’ ground game will get traction against an elite Eagles defensive line fortified by DT Fletcher Cox and DE Brandon Graham. Philly allows only 3.6 yards per rush.

The total has gone over in six of the Eagles’ last eight games, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The total has gone under in nine of the Cowboys’ last 11 games as an underdog.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Patriots over a touchdown favorite at Denver for Sunday night matchup

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Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, on top of facing the best defense they have seen all season, also carry some inauspicious trends into Denver.

The Patriots are listed as 7.5-point road favorites against the Broncos with a 44-point total for the NFL Week 10 Sunday night matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

New England is on a four-game win streak, but the OddsShark NFL Database shows it is 9-1 straight-up and 4-6 against the spread in its last 10 road games as a favorite of 7.5 or more points. The Patriots are coming out of their bye week but are 2-4 ATS in their last six regular-season games after a bye. The Broncos are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games in November.

New England, which is 6-2 SU and 4-4 ATS this season, will not have some crucial members of Brady’s supporting cast alongside as it challenges the NFL’s No. 2-ranked defense. Wide receiver Chris Hogan (shoulder) is out and so is RT Marcus Cannon. That could affect whether the Patriots, who lost to the Carolina Panthers in their only other game against a top-10 defense, can burn CBs Chris Harris, Aqib Talib and Bradley Roby.

Brady will likely have to count on RB James White and WR Brandin Cooks as outside receiving threats, while TE Rob Gronkowski should be his usual lethal self over the middle.

The Patriots’ pass protection has improved from the start of the season, but it will have to contend with OLB Von Miller. The New England running game, with White and Dion Lewis, ranks in the bottom third of the league while Denver allows the second-fewest yards per rush attempt.

Denver, 3-5 SU and 2-5-1 ATS, is on a four-game losing skid, but the three most recent were away games; they are 11-3 SU in their last 14 home games after consecutive road games. An outright win probably seems like a tall task given the struggles of Denver’s offense, which has turned to QB Brock Osweiler

One reason to think the group’s output will improve – beyond the belief that it would be hard to get worse – is that WR Emmanuel Sanders is healthy and could exploit struggling Patriots CB Johnson Bademosi.

The Patriots linebacker corps, led by OLB Kyle Van Noy, have had issues containing the run and covering running backs in the passing phase. Denver appears to have its running back trio of C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker and Jamaal Charles all healthy, and they could help with putting together long drives that keep Brady off the field and prevent the Patriots from engineering a blowout.

The total has gone under in eight of the Patriots’ last 10 road games when they were favored by at least 7.5 points. The total has gone under in five of the Patriots’ last six games on the road against teams with losing records. The total has gone under in nine of the Broncos’ last 12 games after a loss.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.